Three hospital associations in three states are joining forces in an effort to improve health quality and patient safety.

Hospitals in New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania are taking part in the Q3 Health Innovation Partners initiative.

Cathy Bennett, CEO and president of the New Jersey Hospital Association, said through the association's Hospital Improvement Innovation Network, New Jersey providers have already focused for years on healthcare-associated infections. She said the association has seen a tremendous reduction in those rates since a 2015 baseline.

Bennett said the three states coming together gives them the power to help patients traveling across state lines. It will also let providers leverage their unique capabilities and ensure their resources are available across the board to New Jersey's hospitals and New Jersey's patients, she said.

Bennett said the partnership will allow the hospital associations to focus their efforts on a significant cohort of Medicare patients. Among the three associations, they cover 11% of the Medicare population today, she added.

Past focus areas have included efforts to reduce post-surgical infections, medication errors, patient falls, pressure injuries and re-admissions within 30 days of a hospital stay.

The Q3 Health Innovation Partners initiative envisions a broader focus. Bennett said it will continue to look at maternal health, opioid stewardship, adverse drug effects, sepsis and ventilator-associated events.

"We've also gone into other areas," Bennet said. "For example, in New Jersey we've been working on our smart CT scan initiatives." That could refuse the amount of imaging for young children, adolescents and young adults.

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